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daily wine picks

$15 to $30

Nov. 20, 2004: DOMAINE DE LA BUTTE Bourgueil Le Haut de la Butte 2002 (90 points, $20)

Dark and briary, with olive, mineral and tobacco notes surrounding a dense core of black cherry and blackberry fruit. Long, chewy finish needs to harmonize a bit. Best from 2005 through 2007. 1,580 cases made. From France. —James Molesworth

Nov. 19, 2004: SCALA DEI Priorat Cartoixa Reserva 2000 (91 points, $26)

Alluring spice notes of cinnamon and clove add complexity to the ripe plum and sweet vanilla flavors in this rich red. It's balanced and expressive, not overly powerful, but brings you back for another sip. Grenache, Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah. Drink no —Thomas Matthews

Nov. 18, 2004: ROSENBLUM Zinfandel Rockpile Rockpile Road Vineyard 2002 (92 points, $26)

An opulent style, with ripe, rich fruit and layers of oak to dress it up. The core wild berry and black cherry flavors are rich and smooth and the wood, with its exotic smoky spice and hazelnut shadings, adds a tasty dimension. Drink now through 2009. 4,2 —James Laube

Nov. 17, 2004: BODEGAS MARQUÉS DE VITORIA Rioja Gran Reserva 1994 (90 points, $27)

Remarkably fresh in texture, but maturing in flavor, this red shows plum, tobacco, lead pencil and spice flavors over firm, well-integrated tannins. Impressive concentration; traditional style. Drink now through 2009. 9,000 cases made. From Spain. —Thomas Matthews

Nov. 16, 2004: CHARLES JOGUET Chinon Clos du Chêne Vert 2002 (92 points, $29)

Dark, nearly brooding nose of black currant and tobacco, this is a dense wine packed with fruit, iron, smoke, game and plum sauce notes that expand through the finish. It's got plenty of grip and structure, but stays remarkably supple. Drink now through 2 —James Molesworth

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